Examining Argentum Medical's $8.4M contract with BARDA: 3 insights from company leaders

In October 2018, HHS awarded Argentum Medical an $8.4 million contract to repurpose its Silverlon antimicrobial wound-care technology for skin injuries caused by radiation.

Argentum Medical President and CEO Raul Brizuela and Medical Director David Barillo, MD, told Becker's ASC Review what the contract means and what physicians should know about Silverlon.

Note: Responses have been lightly edited for style and length.

Question: What is the significance of Argentum Medical's $8.4 million contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority?

Raul Brizuela & Dr. David Barillo: To prepare for radiological and nuclear emergencies, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority — part of HHS' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response — will work with Argentum Medical to repurpose its commercial Silverlon technology for radiation injuries of the skin. As a pioneer of silver technology, Argentum Medical has been awarded a three-year, $8.4 million contract with BARDA. This contract will look at the potential use of  Silverlon technology for low-grade and severe skin radiation injuries after a radiation emergency — and help prepare the U.S. government for radiological and nuclear emergencies and infectious skin injuries. 

Q: What should healthcare providers know about Argentum Medical's Silverlon antimicrobial wound-care technology?

RB & DB: Silverlon wound dressings have a permanently plated metallic surface, which provides the antimicrobial benefits of silver in the dressing without staining the skin and without increasing bioburden. Silverlon products contain 50 to 100 times more metallic silver ions than other silver-impregnated dressings. Silverlon antimicrobial technology has been battlefield-tested by the U.S. Military in the most austere environments for over a decade. The stringent evaluation process of the HHS further supports Silverlon's clinically-proven efficacy, safety and multidisciplinary value.

Beyond the military, Silverlon dressings are used today by surgeons and other healthcare professionals around the world on surgical wounds, in negative pressure wound therapy, on chronic wounds, burns, skin grafts and IV and catheter-related wounds. Silverlon has been included in numerous studies that have clearly demonstrated silver nylon dressings can offer advantages that help to improve patient care. Argentum Medical continues to explore new applications and markets for its Silverlon technology in keeping with its corporate mission to improve clinical outcomes.

Q: How did Silverlon transition from military applications to use by surgeons and other healthcare professionals?

RB & DB: Developed for combat injuries, Silverlon antimicrobial technology is now used throughout the U.S. Military. Transitioning from military service to leadership roles in civilian healthcare settings, veteran medical professionals are influential advocates for Silverlon. With increasing secondary infection rates and rise in medical costs, Silverlon's antimicrobial effectiveness has captured the attention of infection control experts, surgeons and hospital and clinic administrators. Major medical facilities in the U.S. are increasingly transitioning to Silverlon, particularly in light of the findings in many published clinical research studies demonstrating its effectiveness.

To participate in future Becker's Q&As, contact Angie Stewart at astewart@beckershealthcare.com.

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